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Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canadian TV producer Leiterman 'defining figure'

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TORONTO -- Television producer and journalist Douglas Leiterman, who was championed as one of the "defining figures" of Canadian television for co-creating the popular and controversial public affairs CBC show This Hour Has Seven Days, has died.

He died at his winter home in Vero Beach, Fla., on Dec. 19, according to a death notice. He was 85.

"This Hour Has Seven Days inspired us, a whole generation of us. It certainly redefined the documentary in Canada," said Mark Starowicz, executive director of documentary programming at CBC-TV.

"With no exaggeration, to this day we use approaches and techniques that were incubated under Douglas Leiterman."

The native of South Porcupine, Ont., got his start in journalism in British Columbia before going on to become a Parliament correspondent for the Southam News Service in Ottawa. He then joined the CBC and worked on a number of documentary series, including Document, which he executive produced with Patrick Watson.

He and Watson would go on to launch This Hour Has Seven Days in 1964, a genre-bending mix of hard-hitting news and interviews alongside edgy comedy and satire.

During celebrations of its 75th anniversary, the CBC called it "the most defiant and controversial program in Canadian broadcasting history."

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 2, 2013 C2

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